From Stay At Home Mom to Published Author

About a year ago, when I didn’t know what the hell I was doing on Twitter except Tweet the type of coffee I was drinking in the morning, I started having fun conversations with three ladies about our writing and coffee addiction. We named ourselves the Coffee Divas and today I’d like you to meet one of them, M.J. Kane. M.J.’s debut novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken, was published by 5 Prince Publishing last month. I really, really, really, loved her novel! I mean I was smiling to myself, gasping out loud and having some “no he didn’t” moments. It goes without saying that I’m thrilled to have M.J. here today.

Me: Tell me a little about yourself.

M.J. Kane: First of all, thank you for having me here!

I am a stay-at-home mom who has been an avid book reader for years. My favorite novels have always been mystery, suspense, and Sci-Fi (Star Wars geek!) Before I knew it I was writing…and not in the genre I read, who would have known? I have been happily married to my high school sweet heart for 18 years, and have 4 beautiful children.

Me: Describe your publishing journey.

M.J.: It took four years to go from being a novice, to hobbyist, to now a professional. Along the way I’ve meet and learned from a myriad of talented authors who have encouraged me and taught me how to truly become a writer. If it wasn’t for my family believing in me, giving me encouragement, and allowing me to follow my new found passion, I’d probably be sitting at home right now reading someone else’s novel or playing The Sims.

Me: Tell me about your book?

M.J. A HEART NOT EASILY BROKEN, Book one of the Butterfly Memoirs, is a Contemporary Interracial Romance with elements of Women’s Fiction. The story follows the emotional growth of Ebony Campbell, a well-educated black woman, and Brian Young, a white musician and entrepreneur. The two meet and while Ebony is hesitant about being in an interracial relationship, Brian is determined to have what he wants: her. Though my characters are interracial, the story is not just about their struggle to deal with opposition from outsiders. It’s about following their dreams, accepting love and support from where you least expect it, and the consequences of refusing to ask for help…especially when it comes from the one you love.

Me: Who or what inspires you as a writer?

M.J. My husband. I wrote a short Fan-Fiction, creating my own character to live through the events of the first season of the hit show, LOST. It wasn’t half bad, but I lacked the vision to take my character beyond that show. A few months without cable TV found me reading book after book. Every trip from the library had me coming home with bags of books (I read pretty fast!) At the time, I was wrapped up in the Star Wars Expanded Universe books. When my husband suggested I pull out my short story and keep writing, I saw it as a challenge. Unable to figure out how to write a Sci-Fi novel, (or any novel at all!), I decided to take my character and give her a life of her own, away from the T.V. series…one that I could relate too, an everyday woman looking for love. From there Ebony and Brian were born…and man have they gone through a ton of revisions!

My note: Man I’d love to see Ebony on the Lost island!

Me: When do you make time for writing?

M.J. Every day, that’s the blessing of being a stay-at-home mom with kids old enough to help with the house. All four of my kids have responsibilities which free up most of my day. I usually start as soon as the last child gets on the bus and take a break when they get home from school….depending on what I’m working on at the time. If my creative muse has taken over, I stop long enough to answer a question, and then dive back in. Keeping to a true schedule is hard for me. Learning the art of writing a hot love scene was easier than keeping a true schedule. What can I say? I’m a continued work in progress!

Me: Why do you write romance?

M.J. Everybody, regardless of what walk of life we’re from, what race or nationality, is looking for love; it’s what makes us human. Every love story doesn’t have to be a about the corporate tycoon wooing the woman working the grill at McDonalds. Not all of us have had a hard-knock life. As little girls we may have wished we could be Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty waiting to be swept away by knights in shining armor. But our knights do exist…even if they’re holding a guitar in their hand or smell like a hard day’s work. I write about the real, every day, hard-working, middle-classed couple, someone we all can relate to, no matter what race or nationality. And of course there’s the hot sex…lol!

Me: What advice do you have for other writers?

M.J. You don’t have to be a college graduate to be successful as a writer. Read, and not just books about writing. Study other authors that you admire, read their books. Don’t try to emulate what they do, but create a style of writing and storytelling that is your own. Finding your writing voice doesn’t happen overnight. It took me three years to find mine, lots of trial and error, and yep, tears. It took a year to perfect it…and it keeps getting better! Authors NEVER stop learning! Seek out other writers in a writer’s group or online, form a clique that supports one another. Even though writers can be reclusive…we thrive when in the room with other fellow writers!

Me: Last fun question, if money were no object what hobby would you pick up?

M.J. Hmm…good one. I would say floral design. I tried starting a business creating custom made arrangements and designs for weddings, but there was always the issue of the customer wanting more than they could afford which meant I didn’t spend a lot of time working as much as I wanted to. (lol, thus the inspiration for one of my characters in the Butterfly Memoirs series!) If I could buy the materials needed, I’d love to help brides plan for their wedding day by providing wedding flowers, and decorations free of charge. I get an emotional rush when I walk into a Hobby Lobby…man does the creativity flow! My payment would come from the challenge of creating exactly what it is they wanted (no Bridzialla’s though!) and seeing the smile on their faces on their big day. Hmm…guess type of  happiness is the real reason why I write romance!

I love it! That would be a great “pay it forward” type thing for brides. Thank you, M.J. for stopping by my blog today. And y’all, seriously, go out and get A Heart Not Easily Broken, you won’t be disappointed.

You can find MJ on social networking sites, sharing writing tips, talking about music, life, and family. She’s always excited to meet new people. Connect with her via the websites below.

Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, This Writer’s Life Blog, The Butterfly Memoirs Blog, Google+, Linkedin, Email

A Heart Not Easily Broken Synopsis:

Ebony is a smart, sexy, career-oriented black woman who wants nothing more than a summer fling with a man who challenges her mind and body. What she doesn’t expect is a blond haired, blue-eyed bass player—who won’t take “no” for an answer—to accept the challenge.

When Ebony’s attempt at a brief fling turns into more, despite negative reactions from friends and family, she finds juggling love, family, and career are nothing compared to the ultimate betrayal she endures. Now her dreams spiral into lies and secrets that threaten her future and her best friend’s trust.

Available now from 5 Prince Publishing! Buy Now!